Ben Samples – Life of the Party EP, A Mini Review
I try to make it a point to share upcoming artists who are only just emerging and finding a following, but sometimes the earthquaking sounds of a well established artist are just too impressive to ignore. Today, we once again revisit Colorado, because if your ears have acquired a taste for bass, and you’ve yet to discover the never disappointing Ben Samples, you’ve been slacking to a severe degree and are in need of a brief education.
Recently, we’ve seen dubstep producers, DJs, and virtually everyone under the edm sun discover a sudden fascination with downtempo and/or slowed down beats that mostly seems to manifest itself in toying around with moombahton. While Samples has done some of this dabbling himself, a good portion of his earlier work stands at 100 bpm or under. With his latest release, Life of the Party, his first on MalLabel Music, Samples returns to these roots with four highly polished, thoroughly bassified, pure glitch hop dance floor destroyers that don’t break the centennial mark.
The EP kicks off with “Capture the Flag.” Both the longest track on the release at almost five minutes from start to stop, and the slowest, having been cranked down to 88 beats per minute, this one toes the line between bass bomber and broken beat glitch hopper. A groovy melody is carried by big, fat, sawed off, square synths, some feathery lazer touches, and an old school percussion kit that shines in the second half. Nothing will get your head nodding like Samples’ big bass lines, but be aware that the potential for self inflicted whiplash is a very real possibility.
Just to keep you guessing and your buttcrack shaking, this prodigious EP’s second track, “Bred2Party,” gets things going at 96 beats per minute – the fastest tempo to be found on Life of the Party. Fortified with crunching lead sounds and dominated by an undeniably huge beat, this is an easy nominee for party anthem of the year. Sandwiched bewteen and broken up by some classy keys and lightly peppered with vocal samples from Biggie, this is also a solid candidate for favorite track of the release; of course, it doesn’t hurt this tune’s case that Ben was sneaky enough to allow for free downloads to be copped from his SoundCloud as available below.
Batting third on Life of the Party is “Onyx.” Elements of the first two songs come smashing together on “Onyx” to form a perfect balance between aggressive bass hits, playful key work, and screaming leads. Altogether, Onyx has to be the grooviest and funkiest track included in this release. Outrageous tunes like this one are proof-positive that Samples is truly at the forefront of the bass music and glitch hop threats to be found in the States. In fact, he leaves almost everybody else in the dust.
The EP closes out with “Basscraft.” If there is one criticism to be levied about this one, it would have to be that it is cruelly short. Thanks to some excellent bits and sampling, “Basscraft” plays out like the dankest, grungiest Gameboy Color game ever created. Other than functioning as a perfect soundtrack for Turok, this one shows off Ben’s darker side. It is hard to image any better way of ending an EP than stomping the listener into submission. Samples, you are one dirty dude.
With tunes powered by pure rocket fuel, it should be only a matter of time until Life of the Party is at the top of the Beatport charts, especially since it’s off to a speedy start. You have to enjoy the album art to this release almost as much as the tunes within. We just wish that the cigarette in homie’s mouth was backwards, because you know you’re definitely the life of the party when you’re trying to smoke that tasty, tasty filter. Anyway, we hope you enjoyed checking out Samples’ EP; we strongly encourage you to throw a couple of bucks his way so that he can continue to afford to make such innovative tunes as he is truly one of the best in the business.